Sending top secret information? There's an app for that
February 26th, 2013
06:34 PM ET

Sending top secret information? There's an app for that

By Mike Mount

Combat troops to four-star generals will soon be able to use cell phones or mobile tablets to quickly share classified information anywhere in the world.

The program soon to be rolled out by the Pentagon will allow the more than 600,000 Defense Department employees who use government-issued "smart" mobile devices to send top-secret information on those units or computers.

Until now, classified and other highly sensitive information has only been allowed to be shared by specially designated desktop systems.

Most Defense Department mobile device users peck away at Blackberries. Another 41,000 use Apple devices and a much smaller number use Android-based technology, according to statistics provided by the Pentagon.
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Filed under: Military • Pentagon
Senate panel drops 'Zero Dark Thirty' probe
"Zero Dark Thirty" screen writer Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow
February 26th, 2013
04:38 PM ET

Senate panel drops 'Zero Dark Thirty' probe

By Pam Benson

The Senate Intelligence Committee has dropped its probe of the CIA's contacts with the makers of "Zero Dark Thirty."

The step was taken after the CIA responded to the panel's questions about whether the agency may have contributed to the movie's suggestion that harsh interrogations of a suspected terrorist helped find Osama bin Laden, a congressional aide said.

News of the decision came just one day after the movie was shut out of any significant Academy Awards, a snub many felt came in part because of criticisms, including from members of Congress, that the movie glorified torture.

A bipartisan group of senators expressed concern the CIA may have provided information about the search for the al Qaeda leader that might have "misled" the filmmakers.

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Filed under: Security Brief
White House providing Benghazi e-mails to Senate panel
Damage at US Mission in Benhgazi, Libya
February 26th, 2013
12:50 PM ET

White House providing Benghazi e-mails to Senate panel

By Pam Benson

Senate Intelligence Committee members will have access Tuesday to the e-mails associated with the development of the intelligence community's talking points on the attack at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, a committee aide said.

The Obama administration will provide the e-mails for members and some committee staff to read, take notes and ask questions in the committee's classified hearing room, the aide said. Members will not get copies of the documents.

Republican senators have threatened to hold up the nomination of John Brennan to be the next CIA director until they receive e-mails exchanged between the White House and the CIA concerning the public talking points used by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice for her appearances on Sunday talk shows the weekend after the September attack.

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Justices block lawsuit over foreign intelligence surveillance
February 26th, 2013
12:31 PM ET

Justices block lawsuit over foreign intelligence surveillance

By Bill Mears

The Supreme Court rejected an effort by a group of attorneys, journalists and others to proceed with a lawsuit over the federal government's sweeping electronic monitoring of foreigners suspected of terrorism or spying.

The 5-4 conservative majority on Tuesday concluded that the plaintiffs lacked "standing" or jurisdiction to proceed, without a specific showing they have been monitored. The National Security Agency has in turn refused to disclose monitoring specifics, which detractors call "Catch-22" logic.

Justice Samuel Alito said plaintiffs "cannot demonstrate that the future injury they purportedly fear is certainly impending."

The justices did not address the larger questions of the program's constitutionality, and this ruling will make it harder for future lawsuits to proceed.

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World powers restart nuclear talks with Iran after 8-month break
February 26th, 2013
05:08 AM ET

World powers restart nuclear talks with Iran after 8-month break

By Ivan Watson

Talks began Tuesday between six world powers and Iran over its controversial nuclear program for the first time in nearly eight months.

But the mood going into the negotiations was as gloomy as the fog that hung over this snowbound Central Asian city.

"I don't think tomorrow (Tuesday) is likely to be a day in which we can announce a great success," a diplomat participating in the negotiations told journalists on condition of anonymity on the eve of the first meeting.

Other officials were not so optimistic either.

"Most probably, the negotiations in Almaty will fail," said Hossein Mousavian, who served as Iran's nuclear negotiator until 2005.

Iran has held several rounds of negotiations with the P5 plus 1, which comprises Germany and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The five members are the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China.

 

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Filed under: Iran • Nuclear